Come Boldly!

heavens_6982cnpHow would you approach an appointment with a high government official? Hebrews 4:14-16 tells you that you have an even more important meeting each day.

You have a great high priest. Your priest has ascended. The author of Hebrews has spoken of Christ as the Apostle (Hebrews 3:1)–the one sent by God with the message you are to heed. But he is also your high priest. When Jesus is compared with Aaron, Hebrews always calls him a high priest. His work includes obtaining redemption, by his death, but the emphasis here is on his intercession. He is greater than Aaron or any other priest. You need no other human priest. Aaron and the other high priests had the solemn responsibility of entering the most holy place each year on the Day of Atonement. That happened only with careful preparation and offerings for sin. Your priest has passed through the heavens. He is not limited to (or by) the earth, as the Old Testament priests were, but continues in the heavens today. His name is Jesus, the Son of God. He is the Savior, he is the divine Son of God. Therefore he is the most effective priest possible.

Hold firmly to your faith. Christ is the greatest high priest. He is God himself, your representative in the highest heavens. So, hold firmly to your faith. Don’t fall away, Hebrews 3:12. Hold on to your confession, Hebrews 3:1; Don’t let anything dissuade or shake you. Don’t let anything distract you from him.

Your priest is just like you. He is not unsympathetic. You might think so because of his majesty. He is God, he is the great high priest. “The contemplation of Christ’s greatness in verse 14 might lead people to have lofty ideas of Him as One who could not have any feeling for them; therefore the author goes on to assure them: ‘For. . . we have not a high priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities. . . .’” (Geerhardus Vos, The Teaching of the Epistle to the Hebrews, p.102). He knows your weaknesses. We are mortal, subject to sin and to its curse. Yet Christ shared in our weaknesses, Romans 8:3; Philippians 2:7,8. There is no problem, no abuse, no suffering you face that is unfamiliar to him.

He was tempted—but is sinless. Christ was tempted in all ways. The temptation in the wilderness paralleled Adam’s. There were constant temptations throughout his ministry. He knows all your weaknesses, discouragements, temptations, and trials—and thus he is the perfect mediator. Yet he was without sin. One difference between us and Christ is in the outcome of the temptation. He was perfectly sinless, Hebrews 7:26.

Come boldly to God. Approach the throne. This is a throne of grace. Thrones can be dreadful: Esther, Isaiah 6, Matthew 25:31ff. This is a throne of grace, of undeserved favor. It is the kind of throne you can appreciate–the kind you need. Come boldly. Approach with confidence. The invitation is free to those who come through this high priest.

Obtain mercy. You need mercy, which is favor to those who deserve wrath. The all-knowing Word of God, vv. 12,13, shows your need of it. Hebrews urges you to ask for mercy. Find grace in time of need. You need help–you are totally unable to help yourself. The fall has resulted in total inability. God provides the help you need in Jesus Christ. At exactly the time you need it, that is when God gives help.

Christ knows you. He is just like you, but is sinless. Come, and keep coming, to him. You always need his grace and mercy. Come boldly, with confidence, for God is faithful to you.

About jwm

I serve as pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church, Newberg, Oregon.
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